In today’s fast-changing, progressive and globalised world – we are increasingly recognising the importance of being well – not only physically but also mentally. With this project we want to present the importance of the concept of wellness in the 21st century and justify its place in the Virtual Time Capsule.

history of wellness


Definitions of wellness are constantly evolving and changing. In the past, people associated this concept with the “basic” body functioning – whether the body has strong resistance to diseases and strong adaptability to the environment. Later on, in the 21st century, people have developed the wellness evaluation criteria into eight different dimensions: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial, and environmental wellness (Stoewen, 2017).

However, this multi-dimensional cognitive concept of wellness affects every aspect of people’s lives from healthy lifestyle (i.e. fitness, nutrition) to their relationships with themselves, others and nature surrounding them. It developed various opportunities not only for humans, but for commercial brands and products. Wellness has become a complement to life, an answer to many of its problems and above all – a popular global notion. 

cycle of wellness

It is called a virtuous cycle, the cycle of wellnes: Self-Care, Mental Health and Physical Health as interrelated and indispensable foundations for sustaining wellness in 21st century.

For the purposes of this project, we want to create our own view of 21st century wellness, dividing it into three areas. According to the definition and history of the concept: Self Care, Physical Health and Mental Health were selected as three essential cornerstones to maintain wellness.

First, exercising and ensuring a healthy and nutritious diet is a way of to stay physically healthy. Next, enlightening the brain, by perceiving and accepting emotions, strengthening beliefs and values, maintaining good social relations, working and financial status as well as living in a calm environment represent maintaining mental health. Besides, carrying out specific activities to keep mental and physical health symbolizes caring for yourself and loving yourself, which is a behavior to promote health, prevent diseases, and maintain health. Indeed, Self-Care, Mental Health and Physical Health are intrinsically related one to another and influence each other. During the 21st century, good mental health was proved to be the basis of good and strong physical health. Without these two states achieved, the stage of self-care cannot be attained. Moreover, if people do not take the time to practice self-care, they will struggle to achieve a good mental health and thus, a good physical health. It is called a virtuous cycle, the Cycle of Wellness. By presenting it, we want to emphasize the fact that: Self-Care, Mental Health and Physical Health are interrelated and indispensable foundations for sustaining wellness in the 21st century.



The term “self-care” has exceptionally gained importance and popularity in the 21st century. More and more, people are noticing the relevance and benefits of relaxation and taking care of themselves on a daily basis.


mental health

Over the last few years, mental health has taken on great significance as more and more research shows that mental health and physical health are inextricably linked. People are being conscious of its importance and raising awareness of it to others.


physical health

Physical activity has been considered important for a long time. However, in the 21st century, we are noticing more and more aspects that contribute to the proper functioning of the body beyond sport, such as good hygiene or nutrition.

objects classification

All of the 3D models gathered in our Virtual Time Capsule collection were classified under the theme of wellness and divided into three sub-themes as mentioned before: Self-Care, Mental Health and Physical Health. It is worth bringing up, that since the three sub-themes are very broad and subjective, the classification is purely personal and can be adapted differently to everyone.


If wellness is what we pursue, self-care is how we achieve wellness. Self-care can be defined by the term itself-caring yourself. To be more specific, self-care refers to the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, and maintain health (World Health Organization, 2019). In other words, self-care includes everything related to staying physically and mentally healthy. For instance, weightlifting can be seen as a self-care presentation since it helps to build muscle and relieve stress. And so does a 5-minute meditation in the morning, cooking a nutritious meal, even reading a book before sleep. Self-care is broad, but all the activities center on helping improve your well-being.

Self-care might sound like common sense that there is no need to bring up. However, many of us have so many responsibilities in life that we forget to take care of our personal needs, in particular to those who have significant caregiving responsibilities(Scott, 2020). In addition, people who soak in a society in which everyone is expected to work long hours and pass on vacation days ignore self-care since there is an underlying belief that we must always be productive (Glowiak, 2020). Without awareness of taking care of ourselves, we might face a more vital problem-stress. For immediate, short-term situations, stress can be beneficial to your health and helps you cope with potentially serious problems (Pietrangelo, 2020). Yet if your stress response fires far longer than necessary for survival, it would erode your health. In the article from Pietrangelo(2020), Chronic stress can cause various symptoms, including irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, and insomnia. 

As an essential aspect of stress management (Scott, 2020),  self-care helps prevent damage. Taking 30 minutes for a walk or having a hot bath is proven to help relieve your stress (Scott,2020). Moreover, it avoids the possibilities of burnout or emotional exhaustion. Compared to wellness, self-care seeks practical methods, but their purpose is the same-building a healthier life. It could be argued that if wellness is what we want, self-care is how we achieve wellness.

Exposing the fact that self-care can have various dimensions and mean something different to everyone.

The steam eye mask is a warming mask that relaxes tired eyes. After a long day people can take a moment for themselves to enjoy the mask and relax. 

The kindle, like the book, works the same way for people. Reading on Kindle is comfortable, especially when the book one’s reading is thick and heavy or when someone is reading more than one book at a time. 

People like to read to escape from reality. A book can be carried everywhere and allow their user to read whenever and wherever they want to have some time off. 

With an iPod – people can listen to and enjoy their favorite music wherever they want,  trying to “escape” from the world around them. 

mental health

As The World Health Organization claims, depression is the third leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease (Depression, 2021). At the same time, more and more studies prove that mental health is of great importance and has a massive influence on health (Wynaden, 2010). During the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health raises the public’s awareness again. While facing the endless lockdown and unknown future, people are stressed in the relationship, career, and livelihood, realizing that mental health is not an issue for the minority but everyone. 

But What is Mental Health? In the article from Felman(2020), mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. In other words, how we think, feel, and behave all connect to mental health. According to the World Health Organization, mental health is a state of well-being in which individuals realize their abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and contribute to their community (Felman, 2020). More importantly, the WHO emphasizes that mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities (Felman, 2020). Peak mental health is about avoiding active conditions and looking after ongoing wellness and happiness (Felman, 2020). Based on the definition from the WHO, a person with a good mental health is willing to pursue a fulfilling life and not afraid of difficulties ahead.

And how do we maintain good mental health? Experts have suggested several tips like building relationships, exercising and staying healthy, developing gratitude, identifying and using your strengths, and creating flow (Good Mental Health, n.d.). From these tips, we can find out that our social life, workstyle, and attitude to our lives have a strong link to our mental health. In other words, we have chances to suffer from mental illness if our work and life are imbalanced. On the other hand, mental health decides if we can be enjoyable in our life.

Showing that all of us can have mental health issues which shouldn’t be underestimated.

The invention of the yoga mat as we know it today influenced how people are practicing yoga and meditation.

A prayer mat is a specific item used in the muslim tradition for prayer at home. This object links muslims to their religion, culture and other sentimental values. 

physical health

Traditionally, physical health refers to an individual not being stricken with severe illnesses and injuries (Koshuta & Chapel, n.d.). However, with advanced medical treatment, our lifespans are longer than before, changing the definition of physical health. Today, physical health can consider everything ranging from the absence of disease to fitness level (Koshuta & Chapel, n.d.). It covers a wide range of areas, including personal hygiene, nutritious diet, healthy weight, and rest and sleep. There are many options to maintain good physical health, for instance, brushing teeth twice a day as per dentist’s advice, cutting down unhealthy habits such as smoking, drugs, and going to the gym three times a week. And nowadays, people are more active in promoting health, such as choosing a natural product over chemistries and having a plant-based diet. 

Speaking of vegan, it has become buzzwords for years. We used to confuse the definition of vegan. Still, now we can easily find vegan food like meatless meat and oat milk in the supermarket. According to a 2019 article in The Economist, 25% of 25- to 34-year-old Americans say they are vegans or vegetarians (Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet, n.d.). Moreover, according to a food-focused website, Chef’s Pencil, interest in veganism hit an all-time high in 2020 (Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet, n.d.). From these statistics, we can find that more people are embracing a vegan or plant-based diet. However, researchers prove that a vegan diet has several benefits in addition to environmental concerns. For instance, it promotes weight loss, reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels, lower chances of getting certain types of cancer, and manages diabetes by lowering A1C levels. 

Although there are many arguments over how vegans intake proteins from plants, veganism has revolutionized our diet. And more importantly, it makes us think about what we need to maintain and improve our health with minimizing pollution and maximizing nutrition.

Demonstration of the importance of physical activity in a rapidly changing, globalised world.

Soap bar is a part of external care for cleanliness, allowing to reduce bacteria and pollution accumulated on the skin during the day. 

People are increasingly choosing meat substitutes, realizing how eating a high amount of meat affects the proper functioning of the body.

Oral hygiene is the basis of daily care, but also a procedure to eliminate bacteria and food debris that can cause harmful effects to our teeth. 

Through more frequent checkups, people are discovering, that consuming dairy is bad for their bodies, due to lactose or milk protein intolerance. 


Razor allows us to remove hair from our body in a quick manner. Symbolically, it is also connected with the perception of natural hair. 


time for a little game! how well do you know wellness?


Depression. (2021). The World Health Organization. Retrieved February 17, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression

Felman, A. (2020). What is mental health? MedicalNewsToday. Retrieved March 16, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/154543

Gianfaldoni, S., Tchernev, G., Wollina, U., Roccia, M. G., Fioranelli, M., Gianfaldoni, R., &

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Glowiak, M. (2020). What is Self-Care and Why is it Important For You? Southern New Hampshire University. Retrieved March 16, 2022, from https://www.snhu.edu/about-us/newsroom/health/what-is-self-care

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History of Wellness. (n.d.). Global Wellness Institute. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/what-is-wellness/history-of-wellness/

Koshuta, J., & Chapel, L. (n.d.). Study.com | Take Online Courses. Earn College Credit. Research Schools, Degrees & Careers. Study. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-physical-health-definition-components-examples.html

Pietrangelo, A. (2020). The Effects of Stress on Your Body. Healthline. Retrieved March 16, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/effects-on-body  

Scott, E. (2020). How Proper Self Care Can Reduce Your Stress Levels. Verywell Mind. Retrieved March 16, 2022, from https://www.verywellmind.com/importance-of-self-care-for-health-stress-management-3144704

Stoewen, D. L. (2017). Dimensions of wellness: Change your habits, change your life. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 58(8), 861–862.

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Yuan, H., Ma, Q., Ye, L., & Piao, G. (2016). The Traditional Medicine and Modern Medicine from Natural Products. Molecules, 21(5), 559. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21050559